Building scheduler role

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
blackjf1
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Building scheduler role

Postby blackjf1 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:20 am

My name is Jed Black and I am a church service missionary. I have been asked to become an expert on calendar and have been doing so for most of 2013 . As part of this assignment I am over a team of church service missionaries asked to update the calendar help and also come with training for members on how to use calendar. One of our major concerns is related to the role of building schedulers. The current help states that building schedulers cannot schedule events. This is totally false. The only reason Building schedulers cannot schedule events is because no one has added them as editors to a calendar. The Building scheduler for a ward should be added, by name, to the ward activities calendar. The stake should create a building calendar for each of the shared buildings in the stake and make the building schedulers editors on these building calendars. Then building schedulers can schedule building events such as weddings, funerals, etc and everyone can see these events. It is important to remember that once building schedulers can schedule events this solves many of the problems where conflicts arise because the schedulers were using restrictions rather than reservations. The new help documents and member training will reflect this.

[Moderator note from aebrown: I split this topic from I can't see my Ward Calendar?, since it deals with a different issue.]

eblood66
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Re: I can't see my Ward Calendar?

Postby eblood66 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:56 am

blackjf1 wrote:My name is Jed Black and I am a church service missionary. I have been asked to become an expert on calendar and have been doing so for most of 2013 . As part of this assignment I am over a team of church service missionaries asked to update the calendar help and also come with training for members on how to use calendar. One of our major concerns is related to the role of building schedulers. The current help states that building schedulers cannot schedule events. This is totally false. The only reason Building schedulers cannot schedule events is because no one has added them as editors to a calendar. The Building scheduler for a ward should be added, by name, to the ward activities calendar. The stake should create a building calendar for each of the shared buildings in the stake and make the building schedulers editors on these building calendars. Then building schedulers can schedule building events such as weddings, funerals, etc and everyone can see these events. It is important to remember that once building schedulers can schedule events this solves many of the problems where conflicts arise because the schedulers were using restrictions rather than reservations. The new help documents and member training will reflect this.

It's great to hear that the help will updating! However, before you publish the updated help and training I would suggest you solicit feedback here on the forum. Many of us have had years of now of helping people use the forum and know what works and what causes confusion. Some of your terminology here concerns me. 'Building scheduler for a ward' would make people thing that each ward should have someone with the buildings scheduler role in the calendar. That's a bad idea. I believe that aebrown's stake use the term 'ward calendar coordinator' instead to make sure people don't think they should have the building scheduler role. I like that. The term 'building calendar' can also be a problem because it makes people think they have to use that calendar to schedule the building. A 'Private Events' calendar is a better term that will cause less confusion.

However, this really is a different subject so if you'd like to discuss it further, please start another thread.

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Re: I can't see my Ward Calendar?

Postby drepouille » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:58 am

I agree that the building scheduler should be an editor on at least one calendar. However, most of the events the building scheduler would create should be private, so they should have a private calendar for such events.

Public ward and stake events should, of course, be created on public calendars for all to see. However, such public events should be created by members of the ward and stake councils, and not the building scheduler.

IMHO
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aebrown
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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:48 am

blackjf1 wrote:My name is Jed Black and I am a church service missionary. I have been asked to become an expert on calendar and have been doing so for most of 2013 . As part of this assignment I am over a team of church service missionaries asked to update the calendar help and also come with training for members on how to use calendar.

This is great news. It's been frustrating that the documentation for Calendar (and for the other tools on LDS.org, for that matter) has been neglected for so long. The fact that it is out of date makes it confusing for users, and less useful as a place we on the forum can direct users for information. So I'm very happy to hear that someone has been assigned to update this.

blackjf1 wrote:One of our major concerns is related to the role of building schedulers. The current help states that building schedulers cannot schedule events. This is totally false. The only reason Building schedulers cannot schedule events is because no one has added them as editors to a calendar.

Actually, it's totally true. It's just as true as the statement "the Nursery Leader cannot schedule events". Being given the assignment of building scheduler confers absolutely no permissions to schedule an event, any more than being given the calling of Nursery Leader does.

Now, you do have a point that the building scheduler can be given permissions to edit one or more calendars, and that may make sense in some cases. But it certainly runs the risk of perpetuating the myth that people need to ask the building scheduler to schedule buildings for them. The vast majority of events should be scheduled by someone else, and it's quite reasonable for the building scheduler to never schedule a single event.

If you're going to update the documentation, please make sure that you keep a very clear distinction between what permissions are conferred upon a person when a stake administrator assigns them the role of Building Scheduler in the Calendar, and what other additional permissions might be assigned to such a person, completely independent of that particular assignment of Building Scheduler.

blackjf1 wrote:The Building scheduler for a ward should be added, by name, to the ward activities calendar.

The term "Building scheduler for a ward" is quite confusing. A Building Scheduler is an assigned role in the Calendar that is associated with a Location, not a ward. If someone has been asked to help schedule events for a ward, they should be an editor for the ward activities calendar (and perhaps other calendars as well), but that has nothing to do with the Building Scheduler role.

I suppose that for the case of a building that houses only one ward, it's possible that the bishop may choose to designate someone to be a "building scheduler." But in such a case, there's a strong argument to be made that such a person would not need to have the Building Scheduler role at all -- everything that needs to be done can be done by using events. The only challenge that might arise is if people from other wards try to schedule that building for their ward functions (in which case some Restrictions might be helpful). But if that's not a problem, you really could dispense with having a building scheduler.

blackjf1 wrote:The stake should create a building calendar for each of the shared buildings in the stake and make the building schedulers editors on these building calendars. Then building schedulers can schedule building events such as weddings, funerals, etc and everyone can see these events.

This is one possible approach, but I certainly would never use the word "should" for an optional approach. I can see how it could certainly be an option that could work for some stakes, but by no means is it the only approach. I personally don't think it should even be the recommended approach.

A different model, which we have used very successfully in our stake, is to avoid having the Building Scheduler schedule any events at all. Instead, each ward has a "Calendar Coordinator" who schedules events for situations where it may not be best to have an existing calendar coordinator put the event on a standard calendar, including weddings, funerals for people not connected to the ward, etc. (funerals for ward members should be put on a public ward calendar, of course). There is absolutely no reason why such events would need to be added by a "Building Scheduler."

One major problem I see with having the Building Scheduler schedule events is that he or she does not have access to each ward's calendar. Although some events the scheduler may be asked to add to the calendar do indeed belong on a private calendar, it's almost certain that a building scheduler will be asked to schedule events that really do belong on a public ward calendar. Then the scheduler may be tempted to put such an event on the calendar that he or she does have access to in order to book the building, but this is a poor choice, since it will result in the event being invisible to ward members.

blackjf1 wrote:It is important to remember that once building schedulers can schedule events this solves many of the problems where conflicts arise because the schedulers were using restrictions rather than reservations. The new help documents and member training will reflect this.

I agree that we should do everything we can to discourage anyone from using restrictions in place of events (I think that's what you meant to say when you used the word "reservations," which is the old term for what is now a "restriction"). There are many problems caused by using a restriction in a misguided effort to book the building for an event.

But as I've described above, there are other ways to solve this problem than turning building schedulers into calendar editors. I would hope that the new help documents and training will reflect this.

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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:00 am

blackjf1 wrote:The current help states that building schedulers cannot schedule events. This is totally false.

Where are you looking? If it says that granting someone building scheduler rights in the calendar does not automatically grant rights to schedule events, then it's totally true. I don't think the help system addresses the issue of what rights a building scheduler should be given.


blackjf1 wrote:The Building scheduler for a ward should be added, by name, to the ward activities calendar. The stake should create a building calendar for each of the shared buildings in the stake and make the building schedulers editors on these building calendars

Keep in mind that no one can be added to a ward calendar if they do not belong to the ward. So the traditional role of one person scheduling events for multiple units is dead, Dead, DEAD. Our biggest problem with the calendar is trying to get that though some people's heads. But they're stuck in a tradition which has been rendered obsolete by technology.

The fact is, the role of building scheduler is no longer necessary. We have one building with 3 units in it with no building scheduler. It works fine. Each ward schedules their own events and the church servers block conflicts. If there's a problem, then a few phone calls have to be made to resolve it.

At one time, the role of building scheduler was required. From a practical standpoint, there can be only one calendar for a building. Synchronizing paper calendars isn't practical, so multiple copies doesn't work. Units could post that calendar on the wall, but it wouldn't be easily available and would have no security. (Someone could erase someone else's event.) So a person was called to watch over this calendar and be a phone call away from answering questions and adding events. In IT terminology, they were a "calendar server". That role has now been replaced with a computer server. It keeps track of "the" calendar for the building and with LDS Accounts tied to callings, it has security.

In the current system, scheduling an event and selecting the rooms schedules the building automatically. It really isn't necessary for anyone to check in with another layer of administration. Yes, there is still a need for someone to schedule family events such as parties and weddings. In our stake, we have private calendars for that and the Executive secretary handles that. Works well.
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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby drepouille » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:14 am

Excellent analysis by Alan. Building Schedulers should only create events for people who cannot create the events themselves, meaning people outside the stake. Such events should be on a private calendar so they are not visible to members of the stake. Those events are only needed to prevent any other events competing for the same resources.

I see the building scheduler role to be extremely passive:
- Create recurring restrictions.
- Create events for those outside the stake.
- If necessary, negotiate temporary changes to restrictions to allow wards and stakes to schedule events for times and resources normally reserved for other wards or stakes.

Stake councils and ward councils should be creating the great majority of events, and ward members should be encouraged to consult the calendar, and to ask their ward councils to create needed events. The building scheduler is not normally involved in the creation of ward and stake events.

I just wish I could get my ward to use the calendar, rather than Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail to schedule events and notify the members.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:19 am

drepouille wrote:Building Schedulers should only create events for people who cannot create the events themselves, meaning people outside the stake.

That would also include the rank-and-file members who are not in any unit leadership. For example, to schedule wedding receptions.
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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby drepouille » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:34 am

That is a question that came up during our stake council calendaring meeting back in November. Whom should rank-and-file members of the stake contact to schedule personal events?
If the event really is personal and private and not a ward or stake event, then yes, I can see the building scheduler creating such an event on a private calendar. Another solution is to have the stake executive secretary schedule the event on a private calendar.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:22 pm

drepouille wrote:That is a question that came up during our stake council calendaring meeting back in November. Whom should rank-and-file members of the stake contact to schedule personal events?

Depends on how your ward/stake decides to set that up. In our stake, it's mostly the Stake Executive Secretary.

If we're trying to figure out what to put in the documentation, I'd say check with a member of the bishopric for local procedures.
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Re: Building scheduler role

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:24 pm

drepouille wrote:That is a question that came up during our stake council calendaring meeting back in November. Whom should rank-and-file members of the stake contact to schedule personal events?

The solution I think is best is for each ward to have their own private event calendar and the clerks, exec Sec, or ward calendar coordinator schedules private events. They could even do this for people outside of the stake boundaries.

drepouille wrote:If the event really is personal and private and not a ward or stake event, then yes, I can see the building scheduler creating such an event on a private calendar.

I think its best to not have building schedulers assigned but keep those responsibilities in the Stake Clerks Office.

drepouille wrote:Another solution is to have the stake executive secretary schedule the event on a private calendar.

Since the Stake Clerks are responsible for building scheduling the Stake Exec Sec should not be involved at all. JMO


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